Sr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

The scene in the film Dr. Strangelove that best represents a comical relationship between sex and war is when the character Slim Pickens is straddling the bomb and it is crashing down to earth. It shows the dominance of the male in the state of war. By doing this he is showing the destruction of land and people for his own satisfaction. This shows his bravery as well as his stupidity as he is using lust to show power and control.

The film Dr. Strangelove is a satire about the threat of Soviet Union planning Doomsday with a nuclear bomb and sex. It is filled with a lot of dark humor and sexual connotations like many of Stanley Kubrick’s films. This film helps lighten the mood of the audience, especially in America, due to the actual threat of the bomb ending the Cold War. It warned against the advances of technology, like the film Metropolis. The nuclear bomb did not need a human to trigger it, therefore saying that technology could outsmart humans and take over. Dr. Strangelove had a theory that the Communist are convoluting the water supply and many other products with fluoride, tainting his life essence. “I first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love…Yes, a profound sense of fatigue, a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I-I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence. I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women, er, women sense my power, and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake…but I do deny them my essence.”

The male sexual ego can be seen through the words, actions, and even the names of the male characters. For example, Jack the Ripper was a notorious serial killer of prostitutes and Merkin Muffley refers to the female genitalia. All of the names in the film have some sexual connotation of some sort that also reflect their characteristics. The film makers are alluding that war is directly related to the sexuality of the male leaders and displaying their power through sex.

There is also a lot of imagery that suggest sexual acts, such as the opening scene. In this scene the audience watches to B-52 bombers “mating” in mid-air as a long tube connects them. The last scene of the film is supposed to suggest that Dr. Strangelove has an orgasm because he is so moved by the post-apocalypse. These two scenes marking the beginning and end of the Soviet threat and the film complete the act of sex beginning with foreplay and ending with an orgasm.


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